The Hipódromo Camarero is the most famous horse racing track on the island of Puerto Rico. Located in Canóvanas, the racetrack is a mere 30-minute drive away from the capital, San Juan. Guests are often impressed by their experiences at one of best horse racing facilities in the Caribbean. With a festive, laid back vibe, gamblers, horse enthusiasts, and roaming tourists can all come to enjoy a visit to Hipódromo Camarero.
The closest airport to Hipódromo Camarero is Luis Munoz Marin International, and will take you about 25 minutes to get there by taxi. You also have the option to rent a car. For those driving to the track, there is free parking provided for visitors.
All members of the family are allowed and the age restriction of 18+ only applies to those who wish to gamble. Therefore, if you wish to place bets you will most likely be asked to produce some identification. It is also worth noting that the drinking age in Puerto Rico is lower than the continental United States, at 18.
The Hipódromo Camarero is not only one of the largest, but also one of the oldest race tracks on the island. It is famous throughout both the Caribbean and the U.S. There is a betting area, a restaurant, and plenty of places to relax while you enjoy a drink or watch the various events taking place. There is a pleasant setting here, as the facility has been very well landscaped. Palm trees and lakes are dotted around with a scenic backdrop of the El Yunque mountains.
The racetrack is completely free to enter, and is open from Friday to Sunday between 12:00 PM and 7:00 PM. Post times for the races are usually 3:00 PM, with the final race taking place at 6:00 PM most days. As with any track, race times may vary depending on how well the track management keep to the schedule.
The Caribbean’s biggest horse racing tournament, Clasico del Caribe, has been hosted at the Hipódromo Camarero racetrack more than any other, and it attracts thousands of racing enthusiasts. This tournament unites the Caribbean islands, and only horses bred on the islands are allowed to participate.
The Clasico del Caribe is a competition between all of the island nations in the Caribbean to see which country can rack up the most wins. The locals love their horse racing, so this competition is really something to attend if you find yourself in Puerto Rico when this event is taking place.
Being a racetrack, horse betting is pretty much the main activity – other than eating and drinking. There are no other forms of gambling available, but the variety of betting options there can keep you entertained and potentially allow you to walk away with some winnings.
When you arrive at Hipódromo Camarero, you will be able to see all betting options on the boards, which are written in both Spanish and English. Show bets, place bets, win bets, quinella, exacta, trifecta, and other bets commonly played in the continental U.S. are all available.
The gambling laws in Puerto Rico are quite specific, and all casinos must be situated inside of a hotel or resort. This is, however, not the case for racetracks – and guests will have to search elsewhere for a place to stay.
Luckily, Hipódromo Camarero’s location means it is very easy to travel to and from your hotel. San Juan is famous for its Isla Verde district which has many different hotels and resorts. You can try the Bahia Beach Resort & Golf Club, San Juan Airport Hotel, Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort, Hampton Inn & Suites San Juan, or Coral by the Sea. Prices start at about $100 a night and can run up to $500 at the luxury resorts.
There are plenty of small outlets inside of the Hipódromo Camarero racetrack facility where can buy snacks, but there are not too many dining options inside. There is an air-conditioned clubhouse where you can also watch the horse racing on its many TVs.
If you want to just relax and watch a live horse race at the track, then the Winners Sports Bar is probably the best place to go. You can order snacks and there are even betting windows here, plus there is a very nice restaurant called the Terrace Restaurant. Its large windows look directly over the racetrack and each table also has its own TV showing the live racing. You will most likely bump into many of the horse owners here that have their horses racing in the live events.
For nearby dining, there are some other choices. Some popular restaurants that are near to Hipódromo Camarero include its very own Hipódromo Camarero Restaurant, Long Horn, The New Reef Bar & Restaurant, Las Dos Palmas, Billiard Palace Restaurant or Nordstrom.